What does Umno’s willingness to take back sacked members signal Analysts weigh in

Umno’s readiness to reintegrate the very same members it purged a little more than a year ago can stabilise the party and bolster the unity government led by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, two political analysts said.

(MMO) – Azmi Hassan, a fellow at the National Council of Professors, called it a strategic manoeuvre for Umno as the former members who were suspended or removed still command considerable support and have demonstrated unwavering loyalty without resorting to excessive criticism.

“These Umno members or former members have a huge following. When they are outside of Umno, like Khairy Jamaluddin or Shahril Hamdan in this case, it affects the party,” he told Malay Mail this week when contacted.

He said that though bringing back the purged members into Umno’s fold could reignite internal fights, the party’s top five leaders now appear to have the solid backing of its grassroots members to withstand future pressures.

Azmi also said the advantages of reinstating trust among Umno supporters significantly outweigh the potential internal conflicts.

Syaza Syukr from International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) is of the view that having Umno to take back its rogue members will benefit the unity government by making it easier to manage potentially harmful actions or statements.

Like Azmi, the IIUM academic said that dissent is inevitable, but believes that Umno and the Anwar government will be better served by including dissenters than leaving them in the cold.

“The move will benefit the unity government because it is better to have more people within the circle than outside. When outside of the party, it is much more difficult to manage what they say or do that might hurt the government.

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